6k: Grandma’s Running Over Reindeer: 500-hp 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis

During your Christmas gatherings, someone invariably will suggest piling the whole family in a vehicle and driving to church/a movie theater/a kegger together. So what do you drive? Your Ford 429-powered E-Type sure is spiffy, but it only seats two. Aunt Jemimah’s 1987 Ford Aerostar has seats aplenty, but is populated by vermin and the fungi growing on her kids’ unwashed hockey pads, plus it’s a 1987 Ford Aerostar and that’s just disgusting. What you need is a 6-seat road trip champ that runs 12s in the quarter mile. Find this turbo sleeper 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis in Irving, TX for $6,500 via craigslist. 

This Grand Marquis, which the seller aptly nicknamed “Turbocouch,” (Ed – sounds like a venereal disease) could also be called the Grand Marquick, Grand Markicking Butt, or GrandMar’s Got the Last Laugh with Eustice, Whose E350 Doesn’t Seem So Peppy Anymore Does It. Its Readers’ Ride-esque write-up on Speedhunters.com explains the eggnog-induced stupor rationale behind the build. It’s a two-year-old story, with two-year-old details, but it’s awe-inspiring nonetheless.

And oh, what details those are. Starting with the 16-valve 4.6-liter modular V8, the seller added a Precision T4-style turbo, intercooler, three-inch ducting, and head work. Through a fortified AOD 4-speed automatic with 3,000-RPM stall, at least 500 horsepower spins the rear wheels via limited-slip differential with 3:73.1 gear ratios. The full gamut of suspension upgrades are here too, to ensure control if not outright canyon carving.

Because everything else is left alone, this highway cruiser compromises nothing. Air conditioning and power steering are retained, as are the stock appearance inside and out (minus the wheels). That means six seats and a trunk that would make a mafia hitman weep. You can go anywhere in this thing, because if decades of use in the police force have taught us anything, nothing can stop a Crown Vic. And now, few can keep up with one. 

See a way to haul the family faster? Email us at tips@dailyturismo.com.

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.